At the start of 2020 I very optimistically set myself 20 New Years resolutions, and as we enter the final month of this unprecedented year I thought what better time to look back and see if I actually achieved any!
My first resolution was to cook more meals from scratch and cut down on buying pre-made food (ready meals especially!). I would say this one was relatively successful. Though I still buy the odd ready meal I am much better at cooking from scratch and I definitely have cut down on the number of takeaways I’ve been having.
Number two was to be more consistent with exercise – I always make the excuse that I am too busy but I enjoy exercising and should make the time for it. This one was tricky as the UK went into lockdown on March 23 and is still seeing closures of gyms and sports facilities. When gyms were open I was consistent in going so I am going to call this a win.
My aim to finish a book at least every 2 months I kind of met. So far this year I have read 11 books and I am quite proud of that considering I only read three in 2019
So the fourth was to save money… lets call this one a work in progress…
Number five was to cut down meat consumption. I have been more successful with this towards the later part of this year but this one is also a win.
Creating more sustainable shopping habits – like buying second hand where possible – didn’t happen.
Getting back into swimming was sadly not possible because of lockdowns meaning the pools were shut.
I didn’t get to go on holiday somewhere hot for a week of proper relaxation because of travel restrictions due to coronavirus. One for next year though!
I definitely did not blog more consistently. In fact this is the first post I have written since I don’t know when.
Definitely succeeded in not drinking to excess. Mainly because I have hardly drunk alcohol this year. Although it did make for a messy day after when I did drink that one time… best not dwell on that too long.
Not only did I get a good grade in the last module of my Marketing course, I got an overall distinction which I am really proud of!
Number 12 was to be kinder to people and let the annoyance go. Seeing as how I haven’t really seen anyone this year due to lockdown this one can probably be called a success.
My aim to be more focused is still a work in progress.
I was doing quite well at sticking with regular yoga practice but then I slipped a disk in my back and I am too scared to go back to it…
Apart from a couple of casualties over a heatwave my plants are alive and thriving.
Making healthier food choices when eating out has been challenging as we haven’t been able to eat out that much this year because (and I might have already mentioned this) lockdown meant everywhere was shut.
Again getting my hair done more than once has been tricky as the hairdressers has been closed for most of the year but I think I have actually succeeded on this one as I have had my hair done twice!
I’m still working on this one… I am better at talking about things that are bothering me but I do still internalising and play them down a lot
I managed to go to bed earlier to start with and then it sort of went out the window.
By my count I have stuck to 6 maybe 7 of these 20 goals and resolutions so my aim to stick to 10 has been a failure although I think we can blame a pandemic and unprecedented times for that more than me.
It has been ages since I did a round up of things I’ve been enjoying for the month just gone (probably about 2 years actually…) so I thought now seemed as good a time as any! Here are a few things that I have been enjoying this month.
1. You’re dead to me
I have my house mate to thank for this one. Usually I listen to a lot of news podcasts and since one particular story is dominating the news at the moment (you know that little thing beginning with c) I have been looking for some alternatives. You’re dead to me is a BBC sounds podcast hosted by Greg Jenner, a British author and public historian, about various historical figures and periods. He is joined by an expert on the topic of the week and a comedian, which makes for an entertaining and informative podcast. You can learn something new without it feeling like learning! If you’re looking for some other podcast picks you can read about my favourites here: Top Podcast Picks
2. All things green
Green is fast becoming my favourite colour. Pastel green is clearly a popular colour this spring which is probably part of the reason I find myself drawn to it but the other reason I love green is because it’s the colour of my plant children. I am definitely a crazy plant lady – I just can’t get enough, bedroom jungle here I come! There are loads of benefits to having house plants; they purify your air, looking after them is beneficial for your mental health and they add a nice pop of colour as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere. You can read more about my houseplant obsession here: Hello Houseplants
3. Animal Crossing
There is something surprisingly relaxing about spending your day fishing, catching bugs and collecting fruit in order to pay back your debt to a business savvy racoon. I had animal crossing years ago back when it was on Nintendo DS, and when I saw the new version I thought I would give it ago. Admittedly, this was not a cheap decision… but it was worth it! There is so much more to do in this version (besides paying off your house loan to Tom Nook) and I can see myself playing this for a long time to come. Given the current situation *cough, quarantine and social distancing, cough* I’m not doing much so this is an enjoyable way to fill the time. It also has the added benefit of being able to play with friends. So the more people I can convince to invest in this the better!
4. Yoga with Adriene
One of my New Years resolutions was to do more yoga and I must confess until now I really haven’t been making an effort with this one. In an effort to force myself to do this I have started Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day home series. I was 4 days in and really enjoying having a proper structure to follow and hold myself accountable to – then I slipped a disk in my back so haven’t been able to do it more recently…
5. L’Oreal No Haircut Cream
This one is a rediscovery rather than anything new. I forgot how much of a difference L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream makes to detangling wet hair. Especially now that I have blonde hair I’m making an extra effort to take care of the ends to try and avoid them getting dry. I used to use this back when my hair was longer and I was trying to grow it to minimise split ends but I forgot about it until I found it while doing a bit of a sort out. I won’t be forgetting about this again, that’s for sure.
While working from bed can seem tempting, it’s a sure fire way to end up with cabin fever. Creating a separate work space – ideally somewhere you can shut off once you’re done for the day – will help you get into work mode and help you separate it from your down time.
2. Get active on your lunch break
So there are two parts to this. Firstly always take your lunch break, its important to take regular breaks from staring at screens. Secondly it can be hard to motivate yourself to get active when at the end of the day the sofa is right there. Using your lunch break to go out for a walk or a run will not only give your eyes a well needed rest from screens but the fresh air will help improve productivity for the afternoon.
3. Use the time you would spend commuting doing something productive
If you aren’t used to working from home this one is particularly useful. Trying to keep to your usual routine as much as possible will make it easier to adjust to working from home (and also easier to adjust when you have to go back to the office). Read a book, go for a walk, do some yoga, clean your room – whatever you want! You’ll feel more awake and ready to start the day.
4. Set reminders to take regular breaks
It can be very easy to sit at your desk all day long which is bad for you in many ways. Set reminders on your phone or work computer every hour or so to remind you to get up and move. Do a lap of your house or have a quick stretch.
5. Keep connected
The biggest difference between working at home and working in an office is the people. It can be easy to feel isolated if you don’t make the effort to stay connected to your colleagues. Try to schedule at least one call a day with a colleague or friend.
6. Get dressed like you’re going to work
While it’s nice to be comfy and working in pj’s is very appealing, getting dressed will make you feel more productive and ready to work.
7. Have a clear end to your day
This is important as it is easy to work longer hours when there is a less clear end to your day. Having an end of day ritual will help with this. It could be going to make an afternoon snack or having a shower or even doing some exercise.
The start of September means the start of a new season for fashion and I am SO EXCITED! Here are some of the trends I am looking forward to making the most of now that the weather has cooled down a bit:
This blazer co-ord from Nasty Gal is perfect for autumn, style them together or separately and the colour is perfect for the summer – autumn transition.
Personally I think a corduroy dress is a staple for autumn. It has the potential for so many layers – long sleeve tee underneath, snuggly jumper on top and a coat once it starts to get really chilly. H&M have some nice ones but this blue zip dress is another Nasty Gal find.
You can never go wrong with an oversized shirt and I particularly like the colour of this Pull&Bear one – giving me all the autumn feels!
2. Slouchy knits
I am a sucker for anything soft and warm so slouchy jumpers are my favourite thing about autumn. It’s always good to have a neutral coloured jumper on standby, particularly if you are a fan of bright colours and patterns (like me). I am loving all the jumpers in Fashion Influx’s In The Style collection but I especially like the slouchy jumper in beige and this roll neck jumper dress in white.
3. Jewel tones
Just because the weather might be turning grey doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to! Add a pop of colour to your outfit using your accessories – for example this belt from River Island. You can never go too far wrong with blue and this blue wrap blouse, also River Island, is perfect for those ‘jeans and nice top’ occasions. The pictures don’t do justice to the colour of this Nasty Gal polo neck, guaranteed to brighten up any autumn day.
I haven’t bought a new handbag in what feels like forever. I am a girl who normally sticks to a backpack – they’re practical but not always the most fashionable I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to branch out and get something practical but also something a bit more adult and stylish.
I came across the brand Claudia Canova on ASOS, and I it is fast becoming my favourite brand! Their styles are so fun but also simple enough to go with everything, and they had some great deals in their end of season sale…
I had my eye on this tote bag for a while and when it went on sale I had to order it! I don’t like a big black bag it just feels a bit to school bag like for me, so this khaki colour is perfect. It has this little inner bag that you can remove which is perfect for keeping all your stuff organised. Ever since I got it, it has been my go to bag everyday. I also picked up a new purse – also in the sale. I bought both of these direct from the Claudia Canova site, rather than through ASOS but it is worth checking both sites because they’re sometimes cheaper on ASOS and sometimes on sale on Claudia Canova.
I also needed to replace my little black bag – we all need one! One of the things I loved about this is that it’s a little bit different and adds more to the outfit. I also discovered that the strap is interchangeable so when I want this bag to feel like new again I can just get a new strap for this bag. I love the pink Claudia Canova lining – really gives it that luxury feel.
It has a zipped pocket on the back which is perfect for storing your phone and multiple pockets in the main section as well which is perfect. Such a bargain as well as it was in the ASOS sale down from £55 to £25!